day in the life.
let’s tell a story about the things that occur during a day in the life of a teacher. of course, these aren’t MY true stories because who would write about their real lives on this internet-machine, right?
let’s say that 7th hour on a friday after a long week started fairly normally. the class begins with a freewrite friday journal writing time to a tune of their choice, which inevitably means some kind of rap-hip-hop-remix that makes my ears swell, and not in the good way. but, it’s school-appropriate [the lines of which become blurrier each day, i tell you] and thankfully short.
i believe it was jurassic 5, played from an ipod nicer than mine. [seriously, my students have nicer phones than i do – what gives?]
a pen whizzes past the room. i inform said student that next time they may exercise their legs and place it in the trash, even though they are an exceptional shot as the pen reached it’s destination properly.
then i notice that there are two students lurking in the threshold of the door.
these students happen to have a rather thick island accent, and i’m having trouble understanding what they are doing interrupting my class. i try to get to the point quickly. they gesture to the pen-throwing student. i ask if it’s an emergency. the indicate that it is not, so i submit my kind request for them to head back from whence they came and come back at the end of class to converse with their classmate [most students, at this point, sheepishly leave].
an argument ensues. they do not want to leave and insist on remedying their non-emergency quandary immediately (inner monologue: seriously? SERIOUSLY? go away, strange students!)
i essentially guide them out into the hallway, shutting the door behind me.
i begin a test.
i notice that a smushed face belonging to one of the aforementioned students is present at the door. [side note: could the window in a classroom door be any more useless, except for distracting students? who’s bright idea was that one?]
i go out into the hall, where one of the students has smartly vanished, leaving the other to argue with me now in the hall. i still can’t figure out what this student wants, but i catch the following key words: miss, please, candlesticks [not kidding here], a ring, mon.
i indicate that, as i said before, he may come back at the end of class to resolve whatever Clue-game problem he seems to be having [i mean, really, candlesticks? is mrs. peacock also involved somehow?] and that he will need to leave or he can choose to have Security help him leave. he finally departs.
class continues. test ends, we grade, we move on to the next activity.
ten minutes later, the door opens with two new students looking around the room. they look right at me and ask “who’s the teacher in here?”
yep, that’s me, i reply. [apparently i blend.]
they then offer me a plate of fried chicken and a bottle of cold water.
[sstill not kidding.]
i have several african-american students in this class, who choose this moment to pull their heads up from their focused activity to answer for me, because YOU [and i’m quoting here] NEVER SAY NO TO FRIED CHICKEN, MISS D!
so i don’t.
i proceed to share the fried chicken with said students, who have begun a conversation about the fried-chicken/african-american link and posit predictions as to why that might be.
[inner monologue: i’m going to be teacher of the year, aren’t i, with this.]
two minutes later, another african-american student returns from having visited the bathroom. we proceed to tell him that he missed his golden opportunity to partake of the fried chicken. he grins, then pulls two pieces from behind his back of which he located the source and procured his snack.
then, my student advises me that the test they are grading has 76 total questions, instead of he 75 i’m asking them to take their total percentage from.
oh, and the grammar mistakes on the vocabulary test (that i took from another teacher).
i finish my fried chicken, hoping that my assistant principal does not choose this day for a spot evaluation.